Praveen Fernandes

Constitutional Accountability Center

Praveen is Vice President for Public Engagement at Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC). He comes to CAC from The Raben Group, where he was a Principal, advising non-profit clients on issues including LGBTQ equality, criminal justice, wealth inequality, digital equity, and judicial nominations. Before the Raben Group, Praveen was a political appointee in the Obama Administration, serving as Senior Counsel and Advisor to the General Counsel at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). At OPM, he focused on LGBTQ issues, particularly the federal government’s policies relating to transgender employees and the federal government’s implementation of U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Additionally, he worked on issues relating to workforce diversity, parental leave, contracting, national security, and workplace discrimination.

Praveen has also worked at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Justice at Stake, the Human Rights Campaign, Patton Boggs, Ropes & Gray, and the President’s Commission on Human Radiation Experiments (a bioethics advisory committee tasked with preparing and presenting a report to President Clinton). He began his career on Capitol Hill, where he served on Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s Labor Committee staff.

Praveen earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and his M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health. While in law school, he was a Note and Comment Editor on the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation. He graduated with honors from Brown University, where his undergraduate concentration was in Biomedical Ethics. In 2010, Praveen was named on the National LGBT Bar Association’s “Top 40 Under 40” list.


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COVID-19, the ACA, and the Role of the Federal Government

3/23/20  //  Commentary

Congress has a crucial role to play in keeping us safe from COVID-19. Notwithstanding baseless continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Congress is fully empowered to legislate on these issues.

Trump and Text: An Open Relationship

12/23/19  //  Commentary

President Trump claims he is appointing federal judges who will stick strictly to constitutional text. But he has shown few qualms about ignoring parts of the Constitution he finds inconvenient.

Courting Disaster: Progressive Candidates’ Reticence on Judicial Nominations

6/25/19  //  Commentary

Will progressive candidates for national office be asked about judicial nominations and will these candidates make the federal judiciary a top-tier message? On paper at least, there are reasons to think progressive candidates will get it right this time.

Originalism, Fauxriginalism, and Embracing the Constitution

2/7/19  //  Commentary

The words of the Constitution—along with the history and values that shed light upon the meaning of ambiguous parts of the text—are progressive at their core

Forced Classification, Biological Determinism, and Sad Chapters from Our Nation’s History

10/31/18  //  Commentary

In rigidly classifying people based on theories of biological determinism, we ignore history at our own peril

Kavanaugh, the Federal Marriage Amendment, and the Cost of an Incomplete Record

8/29/18  //  Commentary

To those outside of Washington, this battle might appear to be a dry dispute about documents. Nothing could be further from the truth.